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Patients regret the disadvantage of plant medicine
"Why doesn't my health insurance company pay for herbal medication?" - Peter Friemelt, head of the health shop and the independent patient advice center in Munich, is confronted with this question particularly frequently. Phytopharmaceuticals are still just as popular with his clients seeking advice as they were before the legal clearing seven years ago. "In the non-user survey conducted by the Independent Patient Advisory Service in Germany, the request for information about complementary medicine was even mentioned more often than that for information about general medical questions," reported the patient advisor at the Munich press club.
According to Peter Friemelt, the discussions in the advice center reveal a number of reservations about the prevailing medical industry: Although it is helpful in many ways, especially for serious health problems, it is too technology- and apparatus-oriented. The therapy is often associated with serious undesirable side effects. Medicine is very expensive and too financially focused.
“Patients today have a strong interest in effective, low-side effects, preferably damage-free, healing-oriented and affordable forms of treatment. These are in harmony with human medicine, which focuses on the patient-doctor relationship, ”Peter Friemelt summed up the expectations expressed repeatedly in his advice center.
Unfortunately, the reality is different: natural medicine is often only offered to patients as a health service at their own expense. The financial burden is now immense: "Patients in Germany spend around five billion euros a year on naturopathic treatments," the patient advisor calculated. The most important wishes of insured persons to their health insurance and the legislator are therefore:
- Three-quarters of patients want natural remedies as a health insurance benefit.
- Natural medication should be clearly authorized and controlled.
- In the cooperation between general practitioners and conventional medicine, more "teamwork" should also take place.
In addition to treatment suggestions, many patients also want their doctors to provide practical tips on how they can contribute to their recovery through self-activity. (pm)
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